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Christian Jost


I am permanently on the search for the magic moment and can only achieve this through a complex and differentiated ratio between structure, form and tone. (Christian Jost)

Christian Jost was born 1963 in Trier. He studied composition, analysis and conducting in Cologne with Bojidar Dimov from 1983 to 1988 and with David Sheinfeld at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 1988 to 1989. Jost received scholarships from the foundation Kulturfond des Deutschen Volkes and the artistic and cultural foundation of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The composer received further commissions from the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Festival de la musique contemporaine Dijon and the Residentie Orkest Den Haag. The composer now also frequently makes appearances as a conductor, e.g. with the Bremer Philharmoniker, the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, the Essener Philharmoniker and the Komische Oper Berlin. Jost lives as a freelance composer in Berlin.

The solo concerto is a core genre in Jost’s oeuvre. A characteristic of his works is an orchestrally conceived atmospheric tonal density. Jost’s compositional impulse primarily consists of the wish to acquaint the listener with the unknown, individualism and psychological borderline experiences in a fascinating guise. His intentions can frequently be divined by the titles of his works: TiefenRausch for violin and orchestra (1997), Cosmodromion for percussion and orchestra (2002) and Heart of Darkness (“Odyssee” for clarinet and orchestra, 2007, commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle). The tragic death of the jazz trumpeter Chet Baker is the subject of his concerto for trumpet and orchestra Pietà (“in memoriam Chet Baker”, 2004). This work together with the compositions DiesIrae for trombone and orchestra (2002) and LuxAeterna for alto saxophone and orchestra (2003) form the Requiem-Trilogie – a cycle which was performed complete for the first time during the season 2004/05. In 2007, Sir Roger Norrington conducted the RSO Stuttgart presenting the world premiere of Konzert für Orchester; in 2009, the Konzerthausorchester Berlin premiered Jost’s work CodeNine. This orchestral work is based on the slow movements of 9th symphonies by Beethoven, Bruckner and Mahler and Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony.

Two of Jost’s operas received their first performance in 2005: the first full-length opera Vipern (“A murderous desire in four acts”) at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf in January and the first staged performance of the one-act work Death Knocks (2001) based on the satire of the same name by Woody Allen in the theatre in Erfurt in May. At the beginning of 2006, Jost produced a completely original contribution to the genre music theatre with his choral opera ANGST (“5 gateways of a journey into the interior of angst”) for chorus, choral soloists, instrumental ensemble and film projections. Following the premiere of the opera The Arabian Night (2007) at the theatre in Essen,Jost composed the musical drama Hamlet based on William Shakespeare for the Komische Oper Berlin during the season 2008/2009.
Jost received the Ernst von Siemens Foundation Encouragement Prize in 2003. His opera Hamlet has been elected 'World Premiere of the Year 2009' by an international jury of the magazine 'Opernwelt'. The composer received invitations to become Composer in Residence from the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle in Bonn (1999/2000, The End of the Game for orchestra), the Staatskapelle Weimar (2003/04, CocoonSymphonie for orchestra) and in the season 2004/05 from both the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf (Vipern) and the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

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